Thursday, 2 February 2012

My intimate gathering with The Hunger Games

A few weeks ago I finished reading The Hunger Games trilogy. I've heard of people reading the three books as little as 15 days! I read slowly, and finished them in a month and a half. Still a record for myself for three books! Back in the day, I remember finishing reading Harry Potter 4 in four days!

It took me a while to start reading The Hunger Games series because I considered them "teenager books". Probably as cheesy and desperate-for-surreal-love as the Twilight series (can you guess I'm not a big fan?). But my younger sister had been reading them for school, and told me how awesome they were and made me promise her I was going to read them. A promise is a debt, so after a year of dragging the subject, I finally picked up the first book. The first 3 chapters were a bit boring for my taste, but after I kept reading, it became better and it grew on me as an obsession. Before I could take a moment to reflect the first book I had already grabbed "Catching Fire", the second one. I needed to know what happens later! By the time I finished the last book, "Mockingjay", I had cried my eyes out so many times, laughed like somebody just told me the funniest joke, started grabbing my blanket on my bed really hard as consequence of the suspense, even screamed when something absolutely surprising happened. I lived the book like I was right there. Even to this day, I can't stop thinking about it.

I have to confess that I sank into a mild depression after the first book. There is a developing romance between the principal characters (yes, it has romance in it, shame on me). Katniss and Peeta are both sixteen years old, and when Peeta confesses his love for Katniss the whole story changes. Later in the first book you will discover that Peeta had been in love with her since they were little kids. And I thought: "I don't remember when was the last time I felt like that". That need of holding on to something forced me into a introspection that I couldn't control. Luckily, the end of the series were higher than my expectations, so even though I still think about the book, there is no bitter taste of an unsatisfying finale.

So before I ruin the whole storyline for you, let me tell you in general lines what it is about.
Liam Hemsworth stars in The Hunger Games. Girls, first row!!
In a post-war Earth, there is a country called Panem, which it used to be North America. Panem, which main city is the Capitol, is divided by 12 districts: District 1, District 2, District 3, and so on... 74 years ago, the population of Panem decided to rebel against the hostility and tyranny of the Capitol. They lost, resulting in the extinction of District 13 and the creation of the Hunger Games, a reminder to the fallen of the omnipotent power of the Capitol. These games consist on picking randomly a boy and a girl between the ages 12 and 18 from each district, called tributes, and send them to the Capitol where they will be thrown into an arena and will have to fight for their lives. The only way to get out of there is to kill everybody else. There is only one victor. The whole event is, by the way, televised and viewed by all Panem. Pretty much as what we know nowadays as a "reality show" (Hello "Big Brother", "The Biggest Loser"?) It doensn't sound so bad, but the trick is this: the Games Makers, creators of every Hunger Games arena, have deadly strategies to force the tributes to kill each other and not hide until God knows when. The longer the games take, the less sponsors the event obtains (they even have sponsors for kids killing kids!!), and the Capitol doesn't want that.

I've heard of another Japanese book/movie that has a similar concept, called Battle Royale. It has been made a movie as well as the Hunger Games (premier March 23rd, 2012). If you are curious, check it out and tell me about it LOL But personally, the Hunger Games are amazing. Last book that made me feel this way was 'The Godfather' (by Mario Puzo), 7 years ago. I definitely recommend it! =)

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